Furious. Fanatic. Frenzied. Fleeting. And of course, Fast.
All words that you could possibly use to describe the next Vin Diesel car-chase film, but better the starting five of the Mineola varsity basketball squad of Tom Behan, Dominick DeRsa, Bobby Rogers, Brian Gaffney and Malcolm Brown.
“They play hard, they play together,” head coach Jim Hegmann said Friday night at Mineola High School in a game against Clarke as part of the school’s annual Reggie Carter memorial night. “They’re a nice group.”
A group that is finally bearing ample fruit as much as the dedicated fast-break offense would have you believe.
“Get out and make sure the first person up the court gets the ball, make sure we make layups,” Brown said of the offense. “We practice layups all day.”
A strategy that has sustained only one conference loss in the 2012-13 season and sits atop the standings with a 4-1 conference record after a blowout 73-41 win over the Rams.
“We’ve been always contending for it and this year we’ve played really well and you’ve just got to stay there now,” Hegmann said, noting the absence of senior guard Mike Waszczuk and there being only about seven more games left on the regular season schedule.
“We want to win that conference,” Gaffney, who contributed 11 points on the night, said, signaling the mentality change that has occurred in the Mustang locker room this year. “We definitely got to keep up the fire.”
The perspective change that comes from looking down at the rest of conference A-IV wasn’t lost on Brown either.
“People are gunning for us now, we’ve got to keep playing hard and make sure we take care of business,” the forward said after leading the team in points yet again, this time with 19.
The combination of Brown and Gaffney have been an important weapon in Mineola as the duo has played together for three years.
“The chemistry’s there,” Hegmann said. “They know where each other are on the floor and one’s driving, one’s spotting and vice-versa.”
Added Brown: “We just know where each other’s going to be and what to do when somebody’s going to score and when to pass it to someone, where they like the ball.”
Add in the rebounding machine otherwise known as Bobby Rogers, who Hegmann said “just pushed the basketball” and “really shines in these games because of his athleticism” and Mineola fans have more hope than they have had in recent years after having their post-seasons cut too short.1 2 3 4 F Clarke 13 3 16 9 32 Mineola 20 25 15 13 73
Mineola Scoring Statistics Player Position FGs 3PTs FTs Points Malcolm Brown Guard 6 1 4 19 Brian Gaffney Guard 3 1 2 11 Dominick DeRosa Guard 2 2 0 10 Bobby Rogers Forward 4 0 1 9 Rohit Singla Guard 3 0 0 6 Gabe Echeverry Guard 1 0 1 3 Robert Dwyer Forward 1 0 0 2 Chris Farrell Guard 1 0 0 2
Clarke Scoring Statistics Player Position FGs 3PTs FTs Points Joe Fusco Guard 5 1 2 15 Nester Haddo Guard 1 2 0 8 Anthony Yodice Forward 3 0 0 6 Michael Turton Forward 0 1 0 3 Austin Ceris Forward 1 0 0 2 John Hess Forward 1 0 0 2 Tommy Potamitus Forward 1 0 0 2 Vanupat Parajanukul Guard 1 0 0 2 Kevin Lada Guard 0 0 1 1